Chapel Car 5 Messenger of Peace masthead

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Short history of the car
Living in the chapel car
Car 5 travels
Saving car 5
Moving to Snoqualmie
Funding the project
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MoP on the MKT Railroad

The ravages of time threaten car 5's survival

Considering its age, the Messenger of Peace was and is in great shape. It was built at the end of the 19th Century, before the Wright brothers' first flight, before mass marketing of the automobile, and even before the first transatlantic radio transmission. However, after more than 110 years of exposure to the worst that nature could dispense, the Messenger of Peace was and is threatened. Sitting just a few hundred feet from the Pacific Ocean added to the car's deterioration, and those effects were compounding damage from a coupling accident in the 1940s. Moving the car away from oceanside was the first step and that was completed in September 2007. The second step was stabilizing the carbody that was about to collapse.

The side sill is the primary structural member that runs up the side of a railroad car. On the chapel car, it is made of wood. Unfortunately, the chapel car was involved in a coupling accident that shattered the wooden beam. After water was introduced, the wood rapidly deteriorated. With major work at least two years away, a temporary repair was in order. So the rotten wood was removed and a new "temporary" section of side sill was introduced.

Side sill replacement Section of deteriorated and failing side sill
Temporary sidesill repair completed, the car is no longer in immediate danger of collapse Closeup of sidesill repair

Messenger of Peace preservation, rehabiliation and interpretation are programs of the Northwest Railway Museum
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